New York: Google Inc has registered 17 per cent growth in net profit to USD 2.3 billion in the January-March quarter of 2011 after it sustained a rise in its online advertising revenue.

In the year-ago period, the company had a net profit of USD 1.96 billion, a statement said.

Google's revenue rose by 27 per cent to USD 8.58 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2011 from USD 6.77 billion in the year-ago period.

The company has attributed increase in quarter earnings to revenue generated by paid clicks on its search ads, which include clicks related to ads served on Google's sites and the sites of its partners.

Google-owned sites spawned revenues of USD 5.88 billion in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 32 per cent increase over first quarter 2010 revenues of USD 4.44 billion.

However, higher marketing expenses along with the increased labour costs pushed Google's operating expenses by 54 per cent, reducing its operating margin to 33 per cent.